Arno Bernard Knives is a family of knife makers who use their heritage of craftsmanship handed down through many generations of knife makers to design and create custom knives. Their workshop is located outside of Bethlehem, a beautiful town in the Eastern Free State of South Africa. The rolling hills, green grasslands and beautiful water of South Africa are ample inspiration for an artist perfecting his craft, and the variety and uniquely beautiful African animals inspire each knife design.
Arno Sr. and his four sons are all actively involved in the designing and manufacturing of each knife model. The marriage of functionality and artistry is what Arno Bernard is best at – a quality, functional blade with a unique artistic flair that is distinctly African.
Arno Bernard Sr. made his first knife out of a saw blade in 1979 and has been a member of the South Africa Knifemakers Guild since 1994, when he founded the company. While Arno Bernard Sr. could have been like most custom knife-makers, satisfied to make a few knives a year in relative obscurity, Arno Jr. and Franco had a whole different idea about what they saw as their dad’s strength in knife-making – a quality custom knife at an affordable price. They joined forces with their father to establish and continue the family tradition of knife makers. Another of Arno Sr.’s sons, Juan, handcrafts the sheaths that are made specifically for each knife. Recently his youngest son, Ruan, has joined the business straight out of college. All of the sons are following in the footsteps of their well known knife maker father.
Today, the Bernard family is ushering in a new era for young South African knife-makers who seriously love their craft, their family, and the customers who own their knives! They are often heard quoting a phrase their father coined – “There is no greater pleasure than seeing our knives being used!”